Starting out as cadet reporter on The Australian newspaper, David Koch has a long and impressive career in finance and business journalism and publishing. But you probably know him best as the male anchor on Channel 7’s Sunrise breakfast program.
His production company Pinstripe Media is responsible for the small business show Kochie’s Business Builders, which is the major partner of this year’s revamped National Small Business Summit in Brisbane. And if you had to name Australia’s most well-known small business commentator it would probably be him. Having owned and run a variety of small businesses and made plenty of his own mistakes over the years, the advice he gives on TV also comes from a very personal place.
Finance nerd to TV star
It has been six years since he sold his interest in the magazine he started, MyBusiness, but he still has an active interest in small business issues. “I love small business and I love providing information about it,” he says. “I’ve always been a finance nerd. I was a finance journo first and foremost and Sunrise was something I just fell into. Who would’ve known? But that’s what life throws up.”
Kochie’s Business Builders is in its sixth series with more than 100 Sunday morning shows in the bag. Presenting small business advice and information in a way which is easy to understanding and doesn’t frighten people is something the 54 year-old is passionate about. “Many people make the mistake of thinking small business is just like big business but on a smaller scale. It’s not. What they need to understand is that small businesses are a collection of individuals just like them, with families and other interests too. They love what they’re doing but they really feel the pressure.
“They have to deal with a lot of admin, they’re wearing a lot of hats and they’re sometimes very isolated. My view with giving small business advice is that you have to focus on the individual.”
Business owners inspire me
Koch loves the fact that small business owners are so much closer to what they do. “They’re passionate about their product and loyalty is their pay cheque,” he says. “I get really inspired by it. There are some amazing private business owners out there. They don’t want to big themselves up, they’re not wankers, they just get on with it. They run great businesses and provide terrific employment opportunities.”
The ones he respects most though, are those who manage to run great businesses and have a life. “They are the sort of people who are grounded and who cherish their personal life and families as much as their business. The people who disappoint me are those who ride on the success of their business and sacrifice their relationship or family. Life’s just too short to do that.”